If you’re like most businesses today, you’re probably struggling to drive quality applicants for your open roles. Companies across all industries are looking to staff up quickly in order to keep pace with increased customer demand as the pandemic eases. And at the same time, job seekers have had nearly two years to reevaluate their careers and many can afford to be more selective than ever before.
Adding more fuel to the fire, large companies that can afford to offer more in terms of salary and benefits are looking to hire fast as we approach the holiday season. Amazon alone is expected to hire more than 150,000 seasonal workers and has offered signing bonuses as high as $3,000. And Walmart is offering $17/hour and in some cases providing free college tuition as an added perk.
All of these factors create a situation in which attracting and connecting with applicants is more difficult than ever before — particularly for businesses in lower paying industries like retail, healthcare, or hospitality. So what can you do about it? The key is to forget everything you did to recruit and hire before the pandemic and give your hiring process a complete overhaul in order to reach job seekers where they are and show them you can offer what they’re looking for. 
Here’s how:

Focus on employee referrals

The best way to connect with more job seekers is to do so through your existing employees. Your best performers typically have a network of former colleagues, classmates, and friends who are just like them. Typically, referrals are a great way to connect with folks who might not otherwise be looking to move jobs or may be difficult to reach on overcrowded job boards. Among Hireology customers using our employee referral software, referrals drive one in every eight new hires!
If you don’t already have an employee referral program at your company — or if yours needs a little love — now is the time to make it a priority. You might want to increase your referral bonuses to entice people to participate. Or, you can enhance your internal marketing and communications about your program to make sure your team knows that it exists and they understand how to refer folks from their networks.

Optimize your job descriptions

If you’re still relying on pre-pandemic job descriptions, it’s time for an overhaul. Think of your job description as your first — and sometimes only — opportunity to connect with a job seeker and motivate them to apply. 
That means flipping your descriptions to lead with what’s in it for the applicant, such as benefits, perks, and a description of your company culture. Then follow up with the duties of the role and the job requirements. It’s also important to optimize your job descriptions for search. Use subheadings and bullet points that contain high volume keywords. Keep the word count between 200-800 words, and be sure the tile for the role is short and sweet — between one and three words.

Think beyond job boards

To reach more job seekers you have to have to cast a wider net. That means you can no longer rely on paid job boards like Indeed alone. These sites are incredibly crowded and get expensive quickly. Plus, job seekers on these sites are not always serious, meaning the applicants you do attract are not always quality.
Instead, supplement your job board integrations with other sources like Facebook, Google, your career site, local colleges and universities, and more. The more diverse your sourcing channels are, the more applicants you’ll be able to reach. Plus, many of these channels drive more qualified candidates than job boards typically do. In fact, among Hireology customers, career sites drive 9% of overall applicant traffic, but 34% of eventual hires. 

Beef up your employer branding

Top candidates today have plenty of options. What would make them choose to apply to your open role over the dozens of others they come across? 
The key is making your unique offerings prominent — whether that’s remote work options, sign on bonuses, or competitive benefits packages. Make your uniques known in your job descriptions like we mentioned above along with on your career site, blog, and social media profiles. Anywhere a job seeker might go to research should feature any information about what makes you a great place to work and why you’re unique from competitors. 

Make it easier to apply

Because today’s job seekers have so many options for work, they’re not going to take time to navigate complicated processes or forms in order to apply for a job. They want to be able to apply quickly, and according to our 2021 State of Hiring research, they also want to do so on their mobile devices. 
So make sure that your applications are short — four to five required fields maximum. And don’t require resumes either. These are difficult to upload on a mobile device and in most cases it’s really easy for recruiters to collect this information later as long as they have the basic background and contact information for the applicant.
Tackling all of this alone is tough. Thankfully, Hireology is here to help. Our all-in-one recruiting, hiring, and talent management software makes it easier than ever to diversify your applicant sourcing channels, move top talent through your hiring process seamlessly, and get them onboarded into your organization — fast. Schedule a free demo to learn more today.